What's On In 2019

Thursday 17th January 2019
No two ways about it, 2019 is incredibly well stocked with fun, exciting and inspiring activities and events across the whole of the TransPennine Express network. So get your planner out and start preparing for a brilliant year in the North. Here’s just a smattering of the goodness in store. 

The Liver Building - Liverpool
Tate Liverpool

Keith Haring
14 June – 10 November
The New York art scene in the 80s reflected street art, rap and social activism, and no artist combined these themes with greater vibrancy and fun than Keith Haring. This is the first major exhibition of Haring’s work in the UK and looks like it’s going to be the Hot Ticket for art lovers this year.

Op Art in Focus
Until 5 July 2020
This exhibition will present you with a collection of optical artworks that are all aimed at beguiling your eyes.

Walker Art Gallery

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing
1 February – 6 May
These drawings by the original Renaissance Man have been taken from the Royal Collection (by arrangement) and will be on display to mark 500 years since the old master’s death.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style
15 March – 26 August
The iconic style of Scottish omni-talent Mackintosh is on show in an exhibition of 250 objects that span his life, displaying what was to become the only Art Nouveau movement in the UK.

The Beatles Story
It’s 50 years since The Beatles released Abbey Road and, naturally, the Beatles museum is celebrating this anniversary with events and celebrations.

Strawberry Field

Strawberry Field is opening to the public for the first time in 2019

Summer 2019
For the first time ever the iconic gates of Strawberry Field are opening to the public, hopefully forever. The site is being lovingly restored by the Salvation Army and tells the story of the former children’s home and John Lennon’s love of the place.


Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections is a festival of Celtic music in Glasgow

17 Jan – 3 Feb
2,100 artists and 300 events make up this unmatched festival of Celtic music. So if you want to start the year off with some amazing tunes this is where you want to be.

Glasgow Film Festival
20 Feb – 3 March
Counter-culture classics from 1969, celebrations of the 20th and 40th anniversaries of The Matrix and Alien respectively plus fresh new cinema from Belgium mark this as the cinephile’s must-see event of the year.

European Athletics Indoor Championships
1-3 March
The Emirates Arena is bringing in 600 athletes from 50 nations to compete in intense competition across three days. If you’re reading this and want to go, book your seats and train tickets to Glasgow now… this is going to be popular.

Aye Write!
14-31 March
Held at the Mitchell Library and celebrating the best in national, international and local writing, Glasgow’s Book Festival brings in big-name writers and emerging talent alike. It promises a wide range of ticketed author events for adults and children, as well as a schools festival, and a variety of free community and family events.

Glasgow Jazz Festival
19 – 23 June
Since 1987 this festival has been bringing in the greats (Miles Davis headlined in 1990) and although details of this year’s events haven’t been released at the time of writing you’ll need to be swift to snaffle up tickets to the stand-out events.

The Mela
The Mela a multi-cultural festival in Glasgow

Featuring live music, theatre, and amazing mouth-watering foods from around the world, this free multi-cultural festival is one of Glasgow’s most exciting days out. Follow @glasgowmela on Twitter for details closer to the time.

12-14 July
In just two years this vowel-forsaking festival, held at Glasgow Green, has hosted Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers, becoming one of the main stops on the circuit. The 2019 lineup isn’t out yet but, assuming it’ll build on its impressive pedigree to date, TRNSMT 2019 will be one to catch.


6 Nations at Murrayfield
The RBS Six Nations kicks off this February so head to Murrayfield and see Scotland tackle their opponents. (Scotland v Italy: 2 February, Scotland v Ireland: 9 February, Scotland v Wales: 9 March).

18 Jan – 5 May
The National Museum of Scotland is hosting this exhibition where over 100 objects will reveal our fascination with automatons and androids dating back 500 years. It will also show you some of the latest humanoids in action, and reveal what a world shared with intelligent robots might look like.


JORVIK Viking Festival

 JORVIK Viking Festival

20 – 27 February
York’s Viking history is celebrated city-wide for the 35th year running. The full programme is still to be announced but expect living history encampments, walks, talks, tours and dramatic combat performances. N.B. Resist the urge to say ‘A Norse, A Norse my kingdom for a Norse.’

York Literature Festival
15 – 31 March
With high-profile authors, a dedicated kids programme, comedy, writing workshops, poetry and inspirational talks, this is always a brilliant festival for bookworms and one that takes place in some fantastic settings.

Festival of Ideas
4 – 16 June
This innovative and thought-provoking festival promises to explore a ‘World of Wonder’ showcasing the importance of ideas and research.

Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge
Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge

If there’s anything you can rely on when it comes to folk from the North, it’s a deftness for daftness. And this is as daft (and as thrillingly entertaining) as it gets. Watch 50 spectacular soapbox carts hurtle down the jarring cobbles of Micklegate – it’s impossible not to be entertained by this one.


Chris Killip: The Last Ships

Chris Killip, Shipyard workers looking at the Everett F Wells, Wallsend ©Chris Killip

Laing Art Gallery
On now
The Last Ships by internationally-acclaimed photographer Chris Killip documents the lives of working people and their resilience of spirit. The exhibition features over 30 black and white images documenting the rise and fall of the shipbuilding trade in the North East of England in the 1970s.

The Simply Health Great North Run
8 September 2019
The most high-profile half marathon in the world returns, it’s spectator-lined course once again covering 13.1 miles from Newcastle, across the iconic Tyne Bridge and onto the picturesque coastal finish in South Shields. 


Leeds Young Film Festival
28 March - 5 April
Leeds Young Film Festival is the UK’s largest family film event where the whole family can watch, learn and play. Join over 15,000 other children and their families over Easter to explore the world of film, animation and virtual reality through screenings, live shows, workshops and drop-ins across the City.

Live at Leeds
4 May
Live at Leeds is an annual city centre music festival held across a variety of unique venues in Leeds during the first bank holiday weekend in May. Winner of Best Metropolitan Music Festival at the UK Festival Awards, the festival will celebrate the best in upcoming local bands, alongside more established names.

Leeds Indie Food Fest
Each May the city celebrates its fantastic food scene with Leeds Indie Food Festival, the country’s biggest festival of independent food and drink culture. The festival sees businesses all over the city collaborating to run innovative events, with everyone from fine dining restaurants to coffee shops, from independent cinemas to art galleries getting in on the action. 


Manchester International Festival (MIF)

4 – 21 July
It’s that time again. Every two years MIF rolls around and knocks our socks off. It’s one of the country’s biggest arts events and, while the full lineup isn’t announced until March, some details are already available.

Bells for Peace
4 July
The opening event sees the world premiere of this event from Yoko Ono. Thousands of people’s voices and an orchestra of bells will ring out for peace and welcome the world to MIF 19.

29 June – 10 July
Music dance and film will take audiences on a journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa. Idris Elba’s album Mi Mandela provides the soundtrack to this thrilling new piece by co-creator Kwame Kwei-Armah Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic.

17 – 19 July
Grime polymath Skepta is inviting us to a secret location to enter a whole new world. Dystopia987 promises a waking dream that presents Skepta’s singular vision of the future: deep, dark, radical and riveting.

Friends & Family & Beer
1 – 2 March
Manchester beer royalty Cloudwater, have decided to get in on the beer festival bandwagon and are getting in the beers from the world’s best independent craft breweries. The brewery talks about it in more depth on its blog. This is not the only Beer Festival taking place in Manchester, either. There's also Indy Man Beer Con; Manchester Beer and Cider Festival; and Manchester Beer Week.

Peterloo Massacre

June to August
2019 marks 200 years since protesting Mancunians were attacked by a violent militia, provoking global outrage and becoming a defining moment for Britain’s evolving democracy. The event will be commemorated across the city by a partnership of the People’s History Museum and Manchester Histories

Naturally, this tantalising collection is just a taste of the entertaining, educational, inspiring and just plain fun events that are taking place across the North in 2019. Stay tuned each month for more details and if your appetite has been whetted book your Advance tickets today.

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